Former New Jersey governor and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman ’68 will visit campus in late April to talk with students about the intersection of politics and the environment in a public lecture and in class visits.
The public talk, titled “The Politics of Environment,” will take place on Wednesday, April 27 in the Hindle Auditorium at 8 p.m. The lecture is open to the public. She also will speak to students in several political science classes during her visit.
Gov. Whitman took office as New Jersey’s 50th governor in 1993 and served until 2001. Her tenure marked a milestone; she was the first woman, and remains the only woman, to serve as the state’s governor. During her tenure, Whitman implemented the nation’s most comprehensive beach monitoring system, and created the state’s first source of funding to save a million acres of farmland and open space.
Her record on environmental issues drew the attention of the Bush Administration, and in 2001 she was appointed administrator of the EPA. As administrator, Whitman presided over the implementation of landmark brownfields legislation, which helped to clean up land that had been used by factories and companies and was not immediately suitable for reuse. The EPA also dredged the Hudson River in New York, removing roughly 150,000 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls, now-illegal chemicals that were once used as coolants, among other things.
Throughout her career in public office, Whitman built a reputation as a moderate Republican, a stance reflected in her 2005 New York Times bestseller, It’s My Party Too, which explores the place of middle-of-the-road views in today’s GOP.
Whitman has made headlines during the Republican presidential primary season, writing an essay for Politico that expressed her opposition to Donald Trump’s candidacy as well as recent public statements that she would vote for Hillary Clinton, if Trump were to win the GOP nomination.
Whitman currently runs the Whitman Strategy Group, a team of consultants that advises on environmental issues. She also serves a number of non-profit organizations, including heading the Trustees’ Executive Committee of the Eisenhower Fellowships. She co-chairs Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASE) with Ambassador Ron Kirk, serves as chairman of the American Security Project, and holds membership on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Sustainable Shale Development. She co-chairs the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council and is a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
In addition, Whitman serves as director on several corporate boards, including S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., and United Technologies Corporation. She holds an Executive Masters Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors, and is on the advisory board of The Northeast Maglev (TNEM). She serves as an advisor to the Aspen Rodel Fellowship program and on the O’Connor Judicial Selection Advisory Committee at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. She is a member of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, a member of the Advisory Board of the Corporate Eco Forum, and a member of the National Advisory Committees for the Women’s Coalition for Common Sense and the Presidential Climate Action Project.
— Adam Kilduff ’16